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The Case for Talc Causing Cancer


The link between talc and various cancers is a hot topic, especially with the emergence of thousands of lawsuits against makers of talc body powder. Three lawsuits have been won against Johnson & Johnson, totaling $195 million in damages for the victims. All three cases were based on evidence that the talc used in Johnson & Johnson’s body powder was responsible for causing ovarian cancer and no warnings were given to the victims on the possible risk.

The first three talc cases that were won all cited ovarian cancer as the result of using talc body powder for feminine hygiene. There are many more women who have filed similar lawsuits, with an estimated 2,000 or more cases waiting to be settled or brought to trial. However, there may be other types of cancer that may be linked to talc which may end up in a courtroom in the near future.

Does Talc Cause Cancer?

There have been studies linking talc to cancer since the early 1970s. The most notable was a study of tumors performed by gynecologic oncologists who claimed that 75% of the tumors they investigated contained talc particles. Over the years, there were many observational studies that found a link between ovarian cancer and genital talc use, pointing to a connection between higher risk for cancer from talc use. Even the supplier of talc to Johnson & Johnson added warning labels on their product, but Johnson & Johnson did not do so on its retail body powders.

Other cancer concerns include endometrial and lung cancers, as well as other lung diseases. However, talc and asbestos are often found in similar rock formations and close to each other, leading to contamination. There has not been conclusive evidence that talc causes cancer and it is still used in many products that are sold in the U.S. and throughout the world. Talc has been banned by the European Union for use in cosmetics, but the U.S. FDA and CDC have not banned talc as a carcinogen.

What is clear in the case of talc causing cancer is that juries in the U.S. believe there is enough evidence to show that manufacturers of talc powders knew there was a risk and did not reveal this to consumers. Due to this knowledge, companies like Johnson & Johnson are paying millions of dollars to victims and their families who have been harmed by talc products.

If you or a loved one has suffered with ovarian cancer and you believe it may be linked to the use of talc body powder or other talc products, contact our team at the Tison Law Group. Our expertise in product liability cases involving dangerous products can help you determine whether you may be eligible to file a case to pursue compensation for talc-related cancer injuries.

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